They live a peripatetic existence, going from town to town, with their two-man crew. Jax, a year-old with pretty extreme anxiety issues, is new to their crew, and CJ is trying to teach him to drive a standard transmission.
- Love, Death & Robots.
- Thinking Like a Watershed: Voices from the West;
- High Stakes.
- Love, Hate & Other Filters : Samira Ahmed : .
Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. Gr —Milo always wants to be somewhere other than where he is and never knows what to do with himself when he gets there. One day a tollbooth arrives in his room. After depositing his coins and driving past, he finds himself in the magical land of Expectations. He soon begins a journey to rescue the Princesses Rhyme and Reason in order to bring peace back to the land.
Along the way he meets an assortment of outlandish characters, including his companions Tock, the ticking watchdog, and the Humbug. They make stops in places like the Doldrums, Dictionopolis, and the Silent Valley. Rainn Wilson does a lovely job differentiating among all the characters, effortlessly booming, then whispering, and moving from silly to serious. Juster voices the introduction where he describes what led him to write the book. Kelly, Lynne.
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Song for a Whale. Gr —As one of the only deaf students at her school, year-old Iris has to weather the everyday frustrations of teachers and peers who seek to communicate with her only on their own terms. Though she is not a deaf person herself, Kelly—who has worked as a professional sign language interpreter—is adept at navigating this world.
The audio version adds new, original content to the book in the form of back matter read by the author on deafness and sign language.
VERDICT With solid disability representation and a compelling, deeply emotional story that can be enjoyed in audio format by children of many ages, as well as adults, this audiobook will be a surefire hit for family reading time or car trips. Gr —The scintillating true story of spies will draw readers of both fiction and history.
The narrowly focused narrative adapts an adult text for younger readers with the highlights of the Culper spy ring. The six come from an variety of occupations and classes, including a woman whose identity has never been determined. The codes and transmission of messages give listeners a glimpse into pivotal points of how our country won the lopsided war, especially occupied New York. While adaptions lack the depth of the adult version, this unabridged young reader audio version makes an exciting bit of history accessible to a large audience.
Lee, Yoon Ha. Dragon Pearl. Gr —Min may look like an ordinary girl, but she guards a secret that could threaten her family. She is a fox spirit who can shape-shift and charm others into doing what she wants, but most people think foxes have died out and are untrustworthy so she remains human. Min dreams of the day she can join the Space Forces, like her brother Jun, and see the Thousand Worlds. Then her brother is accused of deserting to search for the powerful Dragon Pearl, something Min knows he would never do, and she sets out to find him.
The adventure never stops in this first-person space opera. Min sometimes comes off as willing to manipulate anyone who gets in her way, but she does think about the consequences of her actions and matures as the story progresses. Korean mythology is woven in, as is the use of gender-neutral pronouns for several characters.
Narrator Kim Mai Guest brings the story to life using inflection to differentiate among characters. Gr —This is a tribute to the th Infantry Regiment, a unit comprised entirely of African American soldiers, and the role they played in World War I. Before describing the wartime realities these soldiers faced, the authors provide a brief history of the role African Americans played in the military in the decades before World War I. They describe the unique situation African American soldiers found themselves in as they fought for a country that did not recognize them as full-bodied citizens and the racism they faced from their fellow Americans.
During World War I, the soldiers of the th fought in France alongside French soldiers who viewed them as equals. Overall, this tribute to these brave soldiers is a bit disappointing.
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Although it describes how the unit trained and fought in World War I, it lacks specific details about memorable contributions these soldiers made. Listeners do not connect with these men or realize the sacrifices they made for our country as much as they might if more personal anecdotes were included. Also, listeners do not benefit from seeing the photographs and other primary sources that are included with the printed book. VERDICT While the groundbreaking contributions of these soldiers should not be forgotten, this audiobook will not make the lasting impression these heroes deserve.
Silva, Jesselyn with Brin Stevens. In this memoir read by the young author, Jess shares her impressive dreams and goals but equally important, her roadblocks and her frustrations. Venkatraman, Padma. The Bridge Home. Viji narrates her story speaking directly to Rukku, her gentle, artistic, and developmentally delayed older sister. The foursome strengthen each other, helped occasionally by generous street vendors and Teashop Aunty, while menaced by trash-picking gangs and the relentless weather.
Curricular connections abound, including science, global studies, and ecology. A smart addition to any middle school library. Ahmed, Samira. But these troubles quickly seem a distant memory when Layla and her family are taken away in the middle of the night, along with hundreds of other Muslim Americans, and forced into internment camps.
Layla is determined to not let the camp, or the country, decide her fate based on the discrimination against her and her religion. What seemed like a fictional premise has now become a cautionary tale that cannot be ignored.
Arcos, Carrie. Gr 7 Up —Seventeen-year-old Zara has always felt somewhat removed from her mother, Nadja. Themes of religion, love, and forgiveness are all intertwined in a compelling way. Laura Knight Keating reads the current-day Zara in an approachable, youthful voice.
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Elisabeth Rodgers narrates Nadja as a teen during the s Bosnian War in a subdued, quiet manner that reflects the closed-off woman she has become. The characters are complex yet sympathetic, and the tone is serious, requiring a more thoughtful listener. VERDICT This audiobook is ideal for those wanting a greater understanding of the war in Bosnia; it concludes with a note read by the author about her own Bosnian experiences.
Banerjee, Sorboni. Hide With Me. Dreamscape Audio. A romance buds, and Jane hesitantly reveals that she got mixed up with a drug cartel and is being hunted by a drug lord called the Wolf Cub. Narrator Pete Cross masters a Southern accent without turning Cade or his alcoholic father into stereotypes. Without missing a beat, Cross transitions to narrating a sociopathic drug lord with a heart of ice and a penchant for philosophical musings.
VERDICT Fantastic narration coupled with a compelling plot will leave readers quickly devouring the short chapters to find out what happens next. The ending, however, is somewhat abrupt considering the lengthy buildup , and the backyard militia approach to taking down the drug cartel is far-fetched and ill-advised. Bass, Alexis. Happily and Madly. Gr 7 Up —When year-old Maris gets into trouble once again, she is sent to spend the summer with her father and his new family in the affluent beach town of Cross Cove.
Maris tries to conform and get along with her new stepfamily, but she soon finds herself attracted to the dangerous and secretive Edison. What starts as a simple teen rebellion story evolves into a compelling thriller that will have listeners on the edge of their seats. Soneela Nankani narrates in the first person in a way that immerses the listener into the atmospheric setting.